Description: Sweeteners refer to the many varieties of organic sugars, both granulated and liquid, and all sugar alternatives. These include, though are not limited to, agave syrup, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, barley malt syrup, stevia, honey, xylitol, date sugar, mesquite meal, lucuma powder, and molasses.

What to look for: Think of these varied organic sweeteners not only as replacements for refined sugar, but rather as healthy and pleasing additions to your diet, which are excellent alternatives that will satisfy even the strongest sweet tooth. Some of these sweeteners are considered whole foods, and contain valuable nutrients.Mesquite meal, ground from the pod of mesquite trees, or pure maple syrup tapped from ancient maples trees, are nutrient dense as well as delightfully flavorful and sweet.

Where to find: With the myriad of wholesome and delicious sweeteners available in the natural foods market today, from our perspective and for the most part, refined white sugar can be and needs to be eliminated from the diet.

Avoid: Refined sugar is highly addictive and harmful, both to our health and to our environment, generating a mass of chemicals and pesticides in both growing and processing methods. For those with a strong “sweet tooth” the consumption of conventional sugar, which is generally hard to avoid, leads to imbalances, addiction and disease in the body.

Serious health conditions can and do result in ongoing sugar consumption. It is no secret that many common diseases such as diabetes, hypoglycemia, Candiasis, and ADHD are linked or intricately involved with sugar consumption and metabolism. To a large degree, many conditions can be blamed on the evils of sugar’s effect. Leading research proves this to be true; sugar is a dangerous substance, as are all artificial sugar substitutes, including aspartame (Equal and NutraSweet), Splenda and anything else that is chemically derived. That said, do experiment with the wide variety of alternative sweeteners, and remember that whole, fresh organic fruit, or dried fruit, can be a great snack and gentle way to sweeten everything from smoothies to cakes.